Spooky Travel Saturday: The Ghosts of Hurricane Mills
There aren’t many across the United States who haven’t heard of country singer Loretta Lynn. The coal miner’s daughter has claimed her spot among the top stars of country music for years now. Not as many, however, know the stories of the ghosts who haunt the Loretta Lynn Dude Ranch in Tennessee. From the time she purchased the pre-Civil War home both the family and the staff working in there have had ghostly experiences.
I’ve passed the dude ranch many times while traveling between Arkansas and Ohio to visit family. Knowing the history of the location I’ve wanted to stop for years now. I finally got a chance to do just that this year while making the trek with my son. I’m so glad I finally got a chance to check this place out. Not only does it have amazing ghost stories but it’s truly enjoyable through the day as well with fun attractions and wonderfully friendly staff.
There have been many ghost hunters and paranormal researchers to investigate the home in search of answers. One of the most popular is no doubt that of Ghost Adventures. They did an interesting review of the house and kept quite true to the history of the home itself. Loretta Lynn herself believes the ghost (or ghosts) in the home to be from the Civil War era. Evidence of its inhabitants during this period of time can be found in a small graveyard nearby.
The home, a 14 room plantation built in the 1800s, is located in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. This small country town was once also the location of a field hospital for soldiers during the Civil War. It is believed that up to 14 individuals died on the property and are buried in the ground nearby.
Loretta Lynn, no stranger to spirits and strangeness herself, claims to have had many sightings of a ghostly woman in white on the property. Previous researchers believe this woman to be Buela Anderson who died of grief in the home after losing a young child.
Many of the hauntings in the home are believed to be members of the Anderson family who lived in the home over a hundred years ago. Workers at the ranch and Lynn herself have noticed a chill in the air or heard doors open in the presence of what is believed to be the original lady of the home, Beula Anderson, who died in grief.
Visitors to the ranch are no longer allowed to enter the top floor of the home after several encounters with what are believed to be Civil War soldiers. Many feel that these spectral soldiers come from the time in which the home was used as a field hospital during a small skirmish on the land.
One room in particular, the “brown room”, has gained quite a reputation when it comes to these soldiers. While the family was still living in the home one of Lynn’s sons awoke to see a ghostly soldier trying to remove boots from his feet. The room is said to have a generally uneasy feel to it. Doors open and close in many of the upstairs rooms and cold spots are frequently noted as well.
Lynn makes several statements in various interviews about the home about a pit beneath the home that gave her an uneasy feeling. She stated that she could hear voices and sounds coming from the “pit”. It was later found this area was a holding cell used during the home’s time as a plantation with slaves.
Although the tour of the home is not geared toward those interested in the paranormal there is mention of the activity while you are viewing the home. I found the tour guides were more than happy to talk about their own experiences and those they had heard while working on the property.
It’s a quick and interesting tour that I recommend checking out even if you aren’t exactly a country music fan. There’s a super friendly cat that is waiting to greet guests as they exit the small shuttle bus at the plantation home. That in itself was worth the money my son and I spent on the tour.
Outside of the home you can stop by the Loretta Lynn museum, check out the coal miner’s daughter’s house, or stop by one of the fun gift shops. There is a ton of beautiful natural elements around the property as well that make a great way to spend your day. There was a motocross event going on during our visit and tons of campers. There’s even food available at very reasonable prices. My son and I both had a Mooney burger and fries for less than $10.
You can find more information and plan your trip to the Loretta Lynn Dude Ranch at Loretta Lynn Ranch. They offer year-round camping with tours running 7 days a week. Most gift shops and the museum open 9 am to 5 pm.
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